Jul 10 2012

Learning Writing Skills from The Avengers

As always, please see the movie before reading this review.

 

1. The conflicts within the team and between the teammates and Fury/SHIELD were impeccable. One aspect which lends depth to the conflicts is that most of the character have intelligent reasons to disagree and the writers don’t push viewers to side with one protagonist or another. In contrast, the Fantastic Four’s squabbles are usually driven by someone (or everyone) being an idiot, which mainly leaves me wanting to punch everyone. The scene where the Avengers confront Nick Fury over what he’s been holding back from them is vastly superior to anything in the FF movies.

 

2. The writing was very fresh and clever. The arc where Loki allows himself to be taken prisoner in an attempt to provoke Bruce Banner into going crazy is a nice play on the (sort-of-tired) trope where a supervillain breaks out of captivity. Additionally, the scene where SHIELD tries to contact Black Widow (who is being interrogated by Russian smugglers) is hilarious.

  • BLACK WIDOW: “This is just like in Budapest.” *She stabs an alien in the head.* HAWKEYE: “You and I… remember Budapest very differently.”

 

3. I believe the main weak point of the movie was the selection of Loki as the main villain—he wasn’t as cost-effective as more limited, terrestrial villains like the Joker, Green Goblin or Obediah Stane. He got better characterization than, say, the alien antagonists in Green Lantern or FF: Silver Surfer, but I don’t believe the movie would have been much worse if all of his lines of dialogue had been cut out. In particular, a character that is based on deception and trickery should develop the plot and characters more with his dialogue than he actually did.

 

4. Except for possibly Hawkeye, all of the characters contributed enough in terms of plot-impact and interesting moments to merit their spot in the movie. That’s quite a feat for a cast of this size, especially given that some of the characters have overlapping capabilities (e.g. Stark and Banner are both super-scientists and BW/Hawkeye/Captain America have similar skillsets). One technique here which worked out well was using relationships and personality traits to build distinct roles for each character. For example, Captain America and Black Widow are a bit redundant in combat, but Captain America’s more ordinary upbringing and Black Widow’s barely-human upbringing as an elite assassin give them different roles in the plot (particularly non-combat).  Captain America’s scene leading NYPD officers strikes me as an example of something BW could not have done, whereas I don’t think Captain America had the personality or manipulation skills to bring Hulk into the fold (at least not like BW did). In contrast, several other really good superhero movies have had characters which could have been removed relatively easily. For example, I think The Incredibles could have axed Violet and Jack-Jack relatively easily, and I’m not sure whether Gwen Stacey’s romance added enough to Amazing Spider-Man to justify its space.

 

5. The writing for Tony Stark was incredible in Iron Man 1 and 2, but not as stellar here. He didn’t get many opportunities to work his charm here. That said, I loved the line about a life-model decoy and the Stark-Banner-Captain America triangle helped develop a distinct role for each character.

 

6. Show, don’t tell. Tony Stark says that he’s in love with the brilliant Pepper Potts, but she’s never come across as particularly brilliant and it just sort of comes out of nowhere that she’s technically gifted.  In contrast, Tony Stark’s dialogue throughout his movies (even this one) does show him as very bright and charming.  Out of all the ladies Tony Stark has dated, I’m not sure why he finds Potts so special.

 

7. I was apprehensive about the inclusion of the Hulk, but he was extremely effective as a side-character. His movies have averaged 64% on Rotten Tomatoes vs. 81% for the other Avengers. One of the main differences is that maybe 75% of his screen-time is as Bruce Banner rather than the Hulk and the Hulk only gets ~1 line of dialogue (“Puny god”). Joss Whedon’s Banner is a bit more mousy and passive than what we’ve seen before, which helps build some contrast with Stark. Despite his intelligence, he’s arguably the most relatable character on the team.

 

8. The battles were generally solid but the climactic battle with Loki was lackluster. It lasted about as long as a crocodile eating a doughnut.  I think it would have helped if more characters had been involved—if one character on a superhero team can take down the villain alone, making the villain more challenging would probably make him more interesting as an obstacle.

 

9. I’m pleasantly surprised that the movie avoided using the super-names. You know how Nolan’s Batman movies refer to Batman’s vehicle as “the car” or (once) “the Tumbler” rather than “the Batmobile?”  I think Avengers only used “Hulk” twice, “Black Widow” once, and completely skipped over “Iron Man,” “Hawkeye,” and “Captain America.”  I thought it made the conversations sound a bit more natural and believable.

  • Relatedly, I found it refreshing that Hulk never refers to himself in the third-person.

 

10. If Spider-Man eventually joins the Avengers, setting the movie in New York City will probably raise suspension-of-disbelief issues for Spider-Man. It feels really off to me that the New York police would take a tough stance against one (well-behaved) superhero so soon after other superheroes saved New York from utter devastation.  With superpowered destruction apparently being a remarkably common occurrence in NYC (between the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and X-Men), is there any reason that the police would say no to a superhero because he has jeopardized an investigation into a string of car thieves?  Moreover, is there any plausible in-story reason the police are angry with Spider-Man rather than, say, a superhero group whose scientific misadventures in downtown Manhattan have threatened perhaps as much destruction as a mid-grade supervillain?

 

11. I found the shout-outs to sustainable energy mildly annoying. I don’t know… it was probably in-character for Tony Stark, but what about Nick Fury? Would Fury/SHIELD really do dangerous research into a supernatural power source which could attract unwanted attention from hostile aliens? He’s got a flying aircraft carrier.  Doesn’t that pretty much rule out that he’d pick environmentalism over security?

 

12. Ideally, major consequences stem from character decisions and actions. I think the government’s decision to use nuclear weapons against New York City would have been more interesting and threatening if it stemmed from an obvious failure of the Avengers. For example, maybe the President had given the Avengers some deadline (like “You have 2 hours to close the portal, or I will initiate a nuclear launch”), so the protagonists play a more obvious role in the development of the plot.

 

13. It might have been more interesting if Tony Stark had been lost in space. The conflict/plot would probably have been more memorable if there had been more negative consequences (even medium-term consequences) for the heroes fending off the alien invasion. Killing off* a minor character like Coulson is generally less emotionally powerful than seriously threatening a major character. (In addition, Tony Stark getting lost in space might be an interesting hook for a later movie—can he make his way back before he was lost forever?)

*Assuming he’s actually dead. There are some possible alternatives (e.g. he survived the wound, but Fury had him play dead a la Gordon in Dark Knight).

 

14. If characters fit into the same role too much, it might tip off observant readers that one or the other will die or be removed. For example, as soon as I saw Maria Hill (SHIELD Deputy Director), I knew Phil Coulson (Nick Fury’s deputy) was going down. Otherwise, why introduce another deputy to Nick Fury? Incidentally, I found Coulson a lot more dramatically fertile than Hill—Hill is, so far, pretty much a clone of Fury, whereas Coulson added some contrast in humanness and relatability.

52 responses so far

52 Responses to “Learning Writing Skills from The Avengers”

  1. Nightwireon 05 May 2012 at 5:39 am

    I squealed so hard at Thanos’ post-credit appearance. 😀

  2. ehrichon 05 May 2012 at 5:44 am

    well i know giving it 3 of 4 stars means you didnt see it in 3d imax, cause you would have said 5 of 4 stars. but admititling so like all moves, there are great parts and there are very crappie parts too. but this IS the best comic book group movie probly ever made.

    i too was wondering ” why loki” too, but i think over all it was ok.

    my biggest disappointment was the killing of Agent Coulson true hes not in the avengers but Clark Gregg played him so well i was hoping to see him more and interact with the group more.

  3. B. McKenzieon 05 May 2012 at 11:13 am

    It’s very difficult for me to watch 3-D movies.

  4. Carl Shinyamaon 05 May 2012 at 11:51 am

    In Captain America, I thought the it was curious that the Tesseract would be cube-shaped. I had wondered if that was for a reason, but I had no idea. In retrospect, after seeing Thanos, and knowing his quest for the Cosmic Cube in the comic books, I am inclined to think that The Avengers planned to introduce Thanos at the very end probably as early as when Captain America was in production.

  5. deadmanshandon 05 May 2012 at 1:53 pm

    The only complaint I had about the movie was the 3d. I watched Avatar 4 times in theater in 3d. I saw Thor in 3d twice. The Avengers 3d gave me one of the worst migraines of my life. Painful.

    But seeing the Hulk/Loki scene was worth it.

  6. B. McKenzieon 05 May 2012 at 2:31 pm

    “…knowing his quest for the Cosmic Cube in the comic books, I am inclined to think that The Avengers planned to introduce Thanos at the very end probably as early as when Captain America was in production.” Possibly, but (spoiler) they sent the Cosmic Cube/Tesseract to Asgard at the end of Avengers. That leads me to believe that they have some other motivation in mind for Thanos invading Earth, because Earth no longer has the Cube. Perhaps the bizarre romance angle alluded to by “to court death.”



    “My biggest disappointment was [spoiler] the killing of Agent Coulson. True, he’s not in the Avengers but Clark Gregg played him so well. I was hoping to see him more and interact with the group more.” Agreed… I don’t think there’s enough contrast between Maria Hill and Nick Fury. In contrast, Coulson is more relatable and experiences emotions more like a regular person would.


    “This is probably the best comic book group movie ever made.” I’d go with The Incredibles or perhaps X-Men: First Class there. Avengers was very good, but I don’t know if I’ll remember much about it 2-3 years from now.

    [2014 UPDATE: I still don’t think it’s as memorable as The Incredibles, but it is extremely fun and I have more appreciation for how smoothly executed it is. In First Class, about half of the characters are notably interesting: I’d go with Magneto, Mystique, Beast, and Xavier. I think most of the other mutants could have been removed pretty easily or actually given some reason to be there besides looking sexy or acting out 1-2 personality traits. In contrast, the only Avengers character I felt should have been removed or overhauled was side-character Hawkeye. Good God, even Bruce Banner had a role besides just being a (redundant) scientist.

  7. Carl Shinyamaon 05 May 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Well, inter-dimensional travel isn’t exactly a barrier for Thanos, but I do see your point.

  8. ehrichon 05 May 2012 at 4:39 pm

    as for your 3d experience…. try to look at where you were sitting. i install home theater systems for a living, and have had many complaints from costumers about this many times, usually this is caused my sitting in the wrong spot for YOU. 3d and especially IMAX 3d if you sit too close, or off to the side too far, it can cause headaches and nausea. cause your eyes are constantly trying to refocus as your following the action. you want to sit where the center 1/3 is completely viewable without moving your eyes that much and it should make the experience much more enjoyable, so try to sit in the center and higher.

  9. Kenry Skyleron 05 May 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I don’t know about you, but I thought the 3-D was amazing. I’d pay 3 more times to see it. I was ticked that they (spoiler) killed Phil Coulson though. I really liked that guy.

  10. ehrichon 05 May 2012 at 5:44 pm

    oh i know it was amazing, just some people get headaches and sick from watching 3d movies…. i seen it in IMAX 3d

  11. Comicbookguy117on 05 May 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I loved the Avengers! Everything about was gold to me. The ONLY disappointment I had was that no one said, “Avengers, assemble!” That’s it. Everything else was great. This has become my favorite comic book movie of all time. At least until I get my stuff made into movies…here’s to the future.

  12. ehrichon 05 May 2012 at 5:53 pm

    get in line buddy, my universe is being made first! lol.

  13. Carl Shinyamaon 05 May 2012 at 9:44 pm

    It’s cheesy, but my favorite line was:

    Captain America: “And Hulk?.. Smash!”

  14. Satoshion 05 May 2012 at 9:51 pm

    I also wanted to hear Captain America shout, “Avengers, Assemble!” But once I said at the end, “It’s THANOS!!!” Everybody in the theater howled in enjoyment.

    This is how you write a superhero film. Each character had enough screentime, there was a lot of good humor, and the battles were epic. This film re-invigorated me to keep writing and eventually get my stuff made into films.

  15. CRon 06 May 2012 at 10:15 am

    A $200 million dollar weekend! Book publishers take note. The public loves superheroes, and will buy good SH prose by the ton.

  16. Carl Shinyamaon 06 May 2012 at 11:22 am

    CR – The public certainly loves superhero movies, but I’m not sure – I’m skeptical, even – that it means that they will buy good superhero novels by the ton.

    You’d think that a rising-tide-lifts-all-boats type of effect on the superhero genre in other medias would happen with all these great superhero movies being made, but it’s yet to really happen for the overall comic book industry – at least, consistently. For example, with the exception of Avengers vs. X-men and the Avengers Assemble #1 (which did really good in March), the very comic books that are regularly featuring the Avengers team are only averaging around 50,000 copies each month.

    Also, January and February, only three and two titles respectively, cracked 100,000 copies sold in that month, putting us pretty much right back to where we were before the DCnU debuted (although, to be fair, due to Avengers vs. X-men, March had five titles that surpassed 100,000 copies sold).

    (One exception may apply, where if a movie or even a TV show is based on a graphic novel or a series that was popular – like Watchmen or 300 – that particular comic or trades would enjoy greater sales after people view them on the silver screen or on their televisions. Robert Kirkman would probably agree with this, given how much his Walking Dead trades are doing now that it’s also a television show.)

    I don’t know what kind of numbers that superhero prose novels are getting, but I have a hard time picturing that the number of superhero novels in general are getting a direct or correlative boost in sales because of these movies.

  17. Carl Shinyamaon 06 May 2012 at 11:24 am

    Further, I think it’s more likely that an amazing, transcendent superhero novel (that is properly marketed and advertised in mass media, of course) is more likely to boost the sales of superhero novels in general.

  18. B. McKenzieon 06 May 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Superhero movies have sold billions of dollars worth of tickets, but publishers will not put much faith in superhero novels until the market for superhero novels picks up.

    1) Most superhero novels have sold poorly and none have set the bestsellers list on fire.

    2) Superhero movies are almost all action-centric. This doesn’t help superhero novelists much because movies destroy novels when it comes to action. Novels are much more competitive in other genres (e.g. romance, mystery, comedy, drama, etc).

    3) The core audience for superhero movies (let’s say guys aged 13-35) does not read many novels, even the superhero novels currently on the market.

    4) Superhero movies have been surprisingly good since 2000, averaging 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to 27% for 1990-1999. For superhero novels to make that leap, I think it would really help if we could get more experienced novelists on board (more authors in the mold of George R.R. Martin or Chabon). Almost all of the superhero novels I’m familiar with have been first novels and first novels generally suffer from a bevy of issues.

  19. B. McKenzieon 06 May 2012 at 1:33 pm

    “I think it’s more likely that an amazing, transcendent superhero novel (that is properly marketed and advertised in mass media, of course) is more likely to boost the sales of superhero novels in general.” It would probably help convince publishers that it’s worth gambling on additional superhero titles. I heard some speculation about Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay along these lines. For this to work, I think the novel in question has to actually be a superhero story (whereas AAK&C is more about the comic book industry than actually about superhero adventures).

  20. crescon 06 May 2012 at 5:26 pm

    I actually enjoyed the FF movies, though i expected not to. I think FF II had 2 big flaws though. First Jessica Alba was a terrible choice for Sue Storm, she didn’t enjoy the role and it showed.

    Second just about every movie with “Rise of the Silver Surfer” is an absolutely terrible title. WAY too many movies use “Rise of…” or “Rising.” or “Revenge of” and how many of them have been good?

    Only 1 that probably will be good.

  21. B. McKenzieon 06 May 2012 at 6:02 pm

    “I actually enjoyed the FF movies.” You and I… remember the FF movies very differently.

  22. deadmanshandon 07 May 2012 at 11:04 am

    @ehrich I sat in the upper middle center of the theater and I had a migraine. Everyone I was with got one too. I don’t think my location had anything to do with the 3d just being god awful for the most part. It made several scenes look far more fake than they looked in 2d. And any scene where they swooped at the screen really quickly I had to remove my glasses because the sensation was literally painful.

    @B. McKenzie Clark Gregg is signed to do something like 6 more movies after this. I don’t think we have seen the last of Agent Coulson. It would be odd to contract someone for that many movies and then kill him off.

    As for Incredibles or X-Men First Class – both movies I love – being better superhero movies I’m not sure I agree with that. To me there are far more memorable scenes from the Avengers than either of those two. Images and lines that stick with you.

    Though I must admit to loving the scene from First Class when Magneto said, “Now I’m going to count to 3 and move the coin.”

  23. B. Macon 07 May 2012 at 12:38 pm

    “Clark Gregg is signed to do something like 6 more movies after this.” I’m not familiar with the details here, but these could be for prequels or cameo roles (like flashbacks to his death). I would be very surprised if Marvel un-killed him. First, as far as I’m aware, they haven’t un-killed any other characters in their movies so far. Second, introducing Maria Hill creates too much redundancy with Coulson. If they had been planning on bringing Coulson back, I doubt they would have introduced Hill as well.

  24. deadmanshandon 07 May 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Possibly but part of me keeps flashing back to the “life model decoy” comment by Stark and we already know that Shield is working with robotics There is a brief image of an early version of Ultron when Cap goes to investigate Phase 2. With the characterization of Coulson and Fury in the movies it wouldn’t surprise me if it was a ploy to get the Avengers united.

    But it’s just a thought.

  25. ehrichon 07 May 2012 at 5:26 pm

    well technically we dont see coulson die on camera, we do see a medical team come to “save” or try to save him. so it could stand to reason that hes not dead, and it was just “the push they needed” i mean hes is the common thread across the whole universe (exception of the hulk, i think) other than fury who couldn’t have been killed.

    i say “LONG LIVE AGENT PHIL COULSON!”

  26. Gogopowon 07 May 2012 at 7:49 pm

    I love the movie so much. I really think it’s the best superhero movie that I have seen. I was actually quiet pleased with the dialogue. I didn’t think Tony’s lines were tiring. I saw it more as him being annoyed and trying to be tough.
    What I really loved is how they portrayed Bruce Banner. His character in other movies always came off as this wimpy whiny guy who always got pushed around blindly. In Avengers, I like how he was more reserved, but he was always conscious of everything.

  27. Cuddleson 08 May 2012 at 2:41 am

    You should definitely put a spoiler alert before the bit about Thanos. I (wisely) didn’t read this article before seeing the movie, but if I did, it would have had me scanning the entire movie for Thanos. And getting spoiled here would have made me very sad. Sorry to be so particular, but that’s what spoiler alerts are for.

  28. B. McKenzieon 08 May 2012 at 3:16 am

    I don’t think mentioning Thanos’ brief appearance in the epilogue spoils the movie… It’s pretty much an Easter egg rather than a significant element of the plot. I think a more significant spoiler would have been “Jarvis kills the Hulk”* or “Bruce Willis is a ghost the whole time in the new GI Joe movie.”**



    *It’s always the butler.

    **It’s true. I saw it on a blog.

  29. Kenry Skyleron 08 May 2012 at 9:00 am

    I thought the Hulk was regenerative/immortal? And isn’t Jarvis an AI. Sorry, I don’t do well with sarcasm so I can’t tell if you’re joking here or being dead serious.

  30. deadmanshandon 08 May 2012 at 10:39 am

    He’s joking.

  31. crescon 08 May 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Darth Vader is Leia’s Dad.

  32. NicKennyon 08 May 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I have to say I really enjoyed it, and thought it was the best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films so far. There were some great lines though. The cinema almost died with the whole:

    Spoiler?

    Thor: He’s an Asgardian, and my brother.

    Black Widow: He killed 80 people in two days.

    Thor:……….He’s adopted.

  33. Joshon 09 May 2012 at 8:42 am

    I also noticed that they didn’t use many of the actually superhero names. I watched it a second time the other day and I still didn’t here ‘Hawkeye’ or ‘Iron Man’, but one of the russians at the start of the movie used Black Widow.

    And also, until he’s missing from another movie, I don’t quite believe Coulson is dead. We didn’t see his body after the medics came, and we already know that Fury wanted to push them.

  34. Edgukatoron 22 May 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I’ve gotta ask, why all the hate over Hawkeye? Dude did a serviceable job, considering he has to fight for face time with the Hulk, a god, Captain America and Scarlet Johannsen. Personally, I was psyched when I saw his cameo in Thor, and I’m now waiting for an origin movie.

    As for the FF movie, gotta say I wasn’t expecting much going in. It’s like trying to make a good Superman movie: the problem is not execution, it’s the premise. Thing and Torch are compelling characters whose egos and flaws are big enough to play out on a superheroic stage, but Mr Fantastic and The Invisible Woman are both weak characters. First, they both break the superhero naming rules on this very site: Invisible Woman is named after her power, while Mr Fantastic is just doesn’t have the personality to carry off his name.

    There is just not enough conflict in the characters to hold attention, in the same way that Prof X does a better job being a mastermind in the background of the first trilogy of XMen movies, than being the action hero against Magneto in First Class.

  35. B. McKenzieon 22 May 2012 at 9:21 pm

    “Why all the hate over Hawkeye? Dude did a serviceable job…” I didn’t hate him. But I thought that he didn’t get very much to do after (spoiler) breaking Loki’s mind-control. If somebody had to die to bring the Avengers together, I would have MUCH rather had Hawkeye die rather than Coulson–Hawkeye’s personality didn’t come out as much and he wasn’t nearly as unique as Coulson was. What does Hawkeye bring to the picture that Black Widow and/or Captain America don’t?

    (Also, I thought that Jeremy Renner’s acting performance was probably the least strong in the movie. Not terrible by any stretch, just not as good).



    “But Mr Fantastic and The Invisible Woman are both weak characters… Mr Fantastic just doesn’t have the personality to carry off his name.” I think the same is usually true of Bruce Banner, but The Avengers found great ways to use him as part of an interesting team. I wouldn’t trust him to be the star of a movie, but I think he provided a really strong contrast to the other characters (especially Stark).

    I think Mr. Fantastic could work in a story which was more about plot events/adventure than about character/personality. For example, Indiana Jones is a walking archetype (an intrepid explorer), but the adventure is exciting enough that I don’t think most people would notice. If Mr. Fantastic is trapped in a lab, I think he’s doomed–I think the adventure is in (say) dangerous scientific expeditions and field research.

  36. Revengelon 24 May 2012 at 8:19 am

    Personally on a four star scale I give it 7.

    All slapstick aside this film had to accomplish the following: Take characters from previous films, have them interact, allow them all to be themselves but not make it “Iron Man & his backup crew” or anything of the like. And they did that…and then some.

    There has only been one other film that I’m aware of that accompished this same goal: Fast Five. That movie did so well because everyone was able to be a star without overshadowing the overall plot nor the main characters, they introduced a new main character and destroyed half of a city.

    ———

    This movie was about fun. It wasn’t to be taken seriously and it didn’t take itself too seriously. I mean just the Hulk/Loki scene was worth the price of admission.

    Part of me hopes they stop with this one, but there’s too much money to be made. Still I give it seven stars…and considering that I had high expectations for this flick? I’m shocked it surpassed them by so much.

    *dashes off to see it for a third time*

  37. aharrison 25 May 2012 at 5:05 am

    Ok, I’ll admit to only having seen The Avengers once so far (not by choice, babysitting money is expensive).

    As much as I didn’t want Agent Coulson to die, I have to disagree that someone else dying would have worked just as well (say Hawkeye). Agent Coulson was the only common thread across all the lead-in movies, and he was the only character that all the mains either liked or at least didn’t not like. He was in the unique position of being the decent, honest government agent who really was the every man just doing his job.

    Additionally, he was also a little like the that small dog in the cartoons who hero worships around the big dog and always gets brushed off. All the heroes, even Cap treated him a little like this. They were nice enough, but they blew him off when it was painfully obvious that Coulson wanted to be like them, a hero. And, in the Loki confrontation, who’s the real hero? It’s agent Coulson who has the stones to step up and confront an Asgardian (albiet a weakling like Loki) when all the others have been so busy bickering and infighting that they can’t properly do the job they were recruited to do.

    When Couson is the one who pays the ultimate price* everyone on the team feels it keenly because they know he was doing what they should have been doing because they were the ones best suited to do it. Essentially, they were sort of shamed into realizing some ugly things about themselves and how they had been behaving. Couson’s death is the bucket of cold water.

    As much as we might all have preferred Hawkeye biting it, his death would not have had the same effect, both on us and on the rest of the heroes. And, it’s easy to pick on Haweye because he had the least screen time and development leading up to this movie. Killing him off would have been the easy path and then they could have told us all how sad we were when of course none of us actually cared because none of us knew Hawkeye. That’s not very good story telling to do that, IMO. Coulson offered a much better chance to make a truer emotional impact.

    *Maybe; we only have Fury’s word for it, and he’s not above manipulating events to create the effect he wants

  38. Goaton 11 Jul 2012 at 8:06 pm

    The Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t take place in the larger Marvel movie universe, at least at this time. TASM is owned by Sony and all of the other Marvel movies are owned by Paramount/Disney.

  39. Pandora Bon 11 Jul 2012 at 8:17 pm

    What impressed me most about the Avengers was that no character was interchangeable. (Well, no main characters) If Hill had been killed instead of Coulson (who I thought was Quartermain the entire movie) it wouldn’t have made too much of a difference.
    But.
    Someone said that Wasp and Ant Man should have replaced Black Widow and Hawkeye, etc. But then one has to think of all the scenes that wouldn’t work because while BW has to run, Wasp can fly and I can’t see Loki possessing Ant Man to kill people the same way he did Hawkeye, etc.

  40. B. McKenzieon 11 Jul 2012 at 8:57 pm

    “The Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t take place in the larger Marvel movie universe, at least at this time. TASM is owned by Sony and all of the other Marvel movies are owned by Paramount/Disney.” Ah, thanks–I’ll add a caveat along the lines of “If Spider-Man eventually joins the Avengers,” which I think will probably happen because enough money is at stake*. Personally, if my choices were limited to picking between (say) Ant Man, Black Panther and Spider-Man for Avengers 2, I’d get Sony’s lawyers on the phone. 🙂

    *Granted, this is uninformed cynicism.

  41. Anonymouson 12 Jul 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I like the ship names the fandom came up with. Tony/Bruce is Science bros, but my all time favorite is Tony/Steve/Bruce – Stark Spangled Banner.

  42. Leegirlon 12 Jul 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Avengers: BEST MARVEL MOVIE OF ALL TIME. The plot was great, they had small scenes with humor in them, and characters were just as they should’ve been. No changes contradicting the comics. Actually, one thing I did have a problem with, was the fact that Hank Pim was left out. And he’s one of the main Avengers from the actual comics. I do understand though, they did have a lot of main characters so, I guess that was ok.

  43. deadmanshandon 14 Jul 2012 at 10:09 am

    I just noticed this:

    “I found the shout-outs to sustainable energy mildly annoying. I don’t know… it was probably in-character for Tony Stark, but what about Nick Fury? Would Fury/SHIELD really do dangerous research into a supernatural power source which could attract unwanted attention from hostile aliens? He’s got a flying aircraft carrier. Doesn’t that pretty much rule out that he’d pick environmentalism over security?”

    Shield wasn’t actually studying sustainable energy. They were using the tesseract to make weapons. That’s what caused the whole argument on the helicarrier. That’s what Phase 2 was.

  44. Mynaon 22 Jul 2012 at 10:00 am

    Great review of Avengers! I admit, I didn’t catch a lot of the finer plot points (I’m not too familiar with Avengers besides Cap’n A) but the movie was still really enjoyable. I like how you do these articles for learning from superhero movies; they help a lot even when it comes to writing superhero fiction.

    And lol it’s true, NYC takes the brunt of most superhero damage… it’s almost as bad as Tokyo with fictional characters and supervillians coming in and leveling the place every few months… xD

  45. Integrityon 24 Jul 2012 at 9:02 am

    Looking at these great characters really helps you appreciate what their characteristics bring to the table and contribute to the overall mission. Just imagine if you applied this to real life and how their traits could be used in the business world. No matter how you slice it each character has traits that everyone could really learn from and use.

  46. Anonymouson 04 Aug 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Have you thought about doing one of these for The Incredibles? And are you thinking of doing anymore or was it just a one time thing?

  47. Anonymouson 13 Aug 2012 at 4:11 pm

    11. I found the shout-outs to sustainable energy mildly annoying. 
    Well werent they going to turn the cube into a weapon?

    What pissed me off is the use of an ailen threat of the chitauri. Huh. It should have used th krull instead. It would be more comic book friendly for all those who know the books. And since the krull can shapeshift it would have been a great setup for Avenger 2 that some of them escaped the finale bttle and were hiding out. Who the hell are the chitauri? Had to actually google them.

  48. Dr. Vo Spaderon 24 Sep 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Folk probably already know this, but…Captain America 2 (Winter Soldier!!!), Thor 2 (The Dark World), Ironman 3, and the Avengers 2. (Also: the Man of Steel. I hope they do good, but there is cause for concern.)

  49. B. McKenzieon 24 Sep 2012 at 2:50 pm

    My main cause for concern with Man of Steel is that WB is making it. They’ve had a lot of trouble giving superheroes personalities without making them assholes (e.g. Superman Returns and Green Lantern). The trailer doesn’t suggest much in the way of an interesting personality. The voiceover (probably Pa Kent) says, “You’re not just anyone. One day you’re going to have to make a choice. You have to decide what kind of man ought to be good. Whoever that man is, good character or bad, he’s going to change the world.” That all applies to pretty much every superhero story… generally, I’d recommend marketing a product on what makes it unique. For example, I thought Dark Knight’s trailer did a much better job setting up what was at stake and what the characters would have to do to succeed. (E.g. “I’ve seen what I would have to become to stop men like him” hints at an interesting internal moral conflict, which is more than we got from Man of Steel’s trailer). It also had more charm (e.g. “Rachel’s told me everything about you”/”I certainly hope not”).



    That said, I think they could have done worse than General Zod as the villain.

  50. Dr. Vo Spaderon 24 Sep 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Agreed on General Zod. But did you know there was a Jor-El voiceover as well? It was kind of different, but equally silent/un-helpful.

  51. Silverstoneon 11 Feb 2014 at 8:03 am

    I loved the Avengers, but I’ve never liked the hulk in any of the films, simply because I’ve read the essential hulk, and that hulk seemed alot more relatable to me, he talked alot more you could feel his pain and anger, where in the movies all he did was roar.

  52. Squatchyon 11 Feb 2014 at 6:04 pm

    This is exactly the article I have been looking for! This is the best site. Thank you!

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